Process Building on Earlier Initiatives That Have Cut Child Poverty Rate in Half Since 2000: Mackintosh, Irvin-Ross 

The Manitoba government has launched a series of public consultations on its new strategy to reduce poverty called ALL Aboard, Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh and Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today. 

Based on consultations already piloted with Manitobans living in poverty and with community organizations, the province is seeking advice on priorities for action as well as advice on the best key indicators to track annual progress. It is expected that more than 50 organizations and hundreds of individuals will be engaged through a series of meetings and roundtables. The general public is also invited to provide comment by visiting the ALL Aboard website at www.gov.mb.ca/fs/allaboard

Gord Mackintosh

Gord Mackintosh

The latest figures from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, which can be found here, indicate that considering purchasing power and government income supports, Manitoba has the third-lowest child poverty rate in Canada at 10.1 per cent. Additional background information can be found here.

“The views of Manitobans are important as we strengthen this co-ordinated and comprehensive effort to tackle the roots of poverty. Although efforts have helped to cut the child poverty rate in half since 2000, lifting 28,000 children out of poverty, there is much work to do,” said Mackintosh. 

The ALL Aboard poverty reduction strategy was launched on May 21, based on an annual investment of more than $744 million including $212 million of new investments. Initiatives fall under four pillars: 

  • safe, affordable housing and supportive communities;
  • education, jobs and income support;
  • strong, healthy communities; and
  • accessible, co-ordinated services. 

To measure progress, a set of key indicators from the four pillars was proposed including the market-basket measure of income, which considers purchasing power, direct government anti-poverty income supports, as well as 14 other indicators. 

Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross

Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross

“National figures show that from 2006 to 2007 Manitoba has reduced poverty more than any other province outside Newfoundland.  That gives us confidence that provincial measures can make a difference,” said Irvin-Ross. “We also know that co-ordinating services enhances the impact of annual increases to the minimum wage and initiatives such as HomeWorks!, which includes our new homelessness and mental-health housing strategy.” 

The ALL Aboard booklet is available in print or online at the above website. Consultations are now being scheduled beginning with the United Way’s Poverty Reduction Council in early December and will be concluded by March 2010.

See the background to this news release here.

MCCTV exclusive:  see a video of the initial launch of “All Aboard” here.